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. and leader nancy pelosi with the number of votes needed to pass. >> what folks are looking for and all of us agree on this is action. they want to see that we are focused on them, not focused on our politics here in washington. >> reporter: that was the last time this group met more than a month ago. with time running out to forge a scaled-down compromise, can they agree on even the most basic elements, extending some income tax cuts, preventing pay cuts to medicare providers, fixing the alternative minimum tax. among the options to gain votes, averting an estate tax hike toll woo republicans. there's still time but no room for error. if congress doesn't act -- >> the impact psychologically and financially on americans of another plunge in the negative territory for the economy would be extremely harmful. >> reporter: and candy, as i said, those leaders are still meeting with the president. we'll see if any of them come out and speak to us after that meeting breaks up as soon as we have any word on whether there is an agreement, we'll bring it to you. >> jessica, it's interesting to me the p
mitch mcconnell, house speaker john boehner and house democratic leader nancy pelosi met at the white house yesterday afternoon with the president and vice president. here's where things stand right now. the senate leaders are meeting aiming to avoid tax hikes. and they may vote on a deal sunday or perhaps on monday. jessica yellin is our chief white house correspondent. lisa day jar dayne is on capitol hill. the president used his bully pulpit to reinforce the idea that senators need to get busy. so let's listen. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable, why everything always has to wait till the last minute. we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. >> so jessica, you were in the room for the president's remarks. on a scale of 1 to 10, let's measure the anger perhaps that
nancy pelosi to produce the huge number of democrats needed to pass it. but if that plan falls through -- >> then i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. >> the president's basic package has much more for democrats to like. so don't expect that to get very far. but all sides now agree the senate must first pass a bill before the house makes any kind of move. so all eyes will be on mitch mcconnell and harry reid and their negotiators holed up on capitol hill. the senate comes back into session at 1:00 on sunday. >> jessica yellin, thanks. >>> and with the pressure now squarely on the senate to fix the fiscal cliff, they will lead the talks this weekend. a period of time reid calls, quote, very important, mcconnell says he's hopeful both sides will have a plan to present to their respective members as early as tomorrow. and other republican and democratic senators are underscoring the importance of reaching an agreement soon. >> if we don't have a deal within the next 24 hours, the question is, where do you buy a parachute? looks like we'll
a consensus in the middle. does john boehner need nancy pelosi in order to get anything passed? >> reporter: yes, absolutely. no question about it. that became incredibly obvious when he couldn't even get his own republicans to effectively save them from themselves and at least have some political cover by voting to keep tax cuts in place for everybody except millionaires because they said they wouldn't help him with what they call a political ploy. i think that's true but actually talking to people on both sides of the aisle here, because the ball is now in the senate -- the senate's court, the feeling is that if they can kind of break the dam in the senate and if something actually passes, you've already seen over the past two days house republicans saying that they hadn't said before, if the senate passes something, we'll take it up. and if that's the case, the sort of betting is that with the help of the majority of the democrats, probably most of the democrats and maybe, you know, a few dozen or more republicans, that's how it would get passed. but, candy, it's still a big if, as we ju
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